Sex Education for the Real World…

 


“Vacation Cutting” – Is It Really Real?

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Posted June 17, 2014 by Kimani in Sex Health

Note: I opted to leave images out of this post. Why, you ask? The images of adorable little girls sitting in their own blood made me cry. I can’t imagine my infant daughter experiencing such pain. Hopefully I have described FGC enough with my words. Awareness is crucial…

The practice of genital cutting has been an age-old ritual that allegedly serves multiple purposes. The act itself is done by cutting, slicing or removing the clitoris and/or labia in an attempt to prepare the young girl for marriage. A woman is often seen as not being “pure” if she is uncut when seeking or being arranged with a partner. It is found primarily in African and Asian countries (but is also practiced in other nations), and often performed by relatives of the victim. Nicknamed “Vacation Cutting,” victims often find themselves swept away unexpectedly during visits to their home country for the procedure to be done. I felt compelled to discuss this ritual as a way to shed light on the “back home” traditions that haunt first generation Americans to this day.

Victim of Genital Cutting

Naima Abdullahi – via NYtimes.com

Research shows that these girls are usually faced with seriously unsanitary conditions; razor blades dipped in alcohol, broken glass; crude cutting devices ensure that the deed is done no matter what. The unsuspecting individual like you and I would think that such things don’t happen in 2014 – but we are sadly mistaken. The United States banned genital cutting in 1996, and transport for that purpose became illegal in 2013. It is considered a sacred rite of passage, supposedly to purify and ensure chastity until the woman is married of. Conversely, sexual satisfaction is often replaced with pain, discomfort and body issues. Considering the thousands of nerve endings in the clitoris alone, it is no surprise that many women are left mentally, physically and emotionally scarred after cutting.

So, let’s talk details. Generally speaking, you may know someone who has been a victim of genital cutting. About 228,000 women have suffered or are at risk for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).
– Who is Affected?
o Girls between the ages of 4 and 14 to “ensure” virginity until marriage.
– Is It Harmful?
o Yes. There are no health benefits to genital cutting. In fact, the act alone puts the victims at risk for a multitude of health problems. Short term, she may experience pain, shock, bleeding, bacterial infections and tissue injury. On the long term, she is at risk for bladder infections, Urinary Tract Infections, cysts, infertility, complications during intercourse and childbirth.

Some things you should know:

FGM is a crime. It is illegal in 21 US states, but to date, sentencing in many of those states is weak to say the least. In my home state of New York, an individual convicted of performing genital cutting may face a maximum of four years in prison. Conversely, in my current state of Florida – an offender can get up to 30 years in prison as well as a hefty fine. I can only hope that the other states follow suit and step up their laws against Female Genital Cutting. More than 8,000 girls undergo FGC/FGM every day in Africa and Asia – that’s an estimated 3 million girls per year! America should be where these girls feel safe.

via - theahafoundation.org

via – theahafoundation.org

Imagine that. Putting your daughter at risk for death or permanent injury for the sake of being “pure.” It’s a difficult issue to process, as many of these parents are performing the act out of sheer ignorance and tradition. How can I prepare for marriage when I’m unsure if my husband will find my vagina attractive? Not all women born into a specific culture marry into it – these parents are robbing their daughters of confidence and their right to choose. My goal is to break the mold through advocacy, education and open discussion. I hope everyone will share this article and get their family and friends to rally against genital cutting.

If you know someone at risk for genital cutting, please encourage them to get help from a physician. If you need help finding the local laws in your area, feel free to contact me using the information below. You can always email me at vforvadge@gmail.com.

I love you all.







Resources:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/WorldNews/female-genital-cutting-affecting-young-girls-america/story?id=10859231

http://theahafoundation.org/issues/female-genital-mutilation/




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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